Skip to content

Playoffs Tonight: Can ‘Hawks solve Rask?

Jun 19, 2013, 9:04 AM EDT

Game 4: Boston Bruins host Chicago Blackhawks (8:00 p.m. ET — NBC/Live Extra)
Boston leads series 2-1

Through three games, Boston Bruins goaltender Tuukka Rask has a 1.22 GAA and .959 save percentage in the Stanley Cup Final — so yeah, he’s been good.

Rask turned aside 28 consecutive shots in Game 3 to give the Bruins an edge in the series courtesy of a 2-0 victory. However, Chicago Blackhawks head coach Joel Quenneville doesn’t think that the problem is that Rask’s unbeatable.

“Tonight, I thought we made it rather easy on him,” Quenneville said after the contest.

Part of the Blackhawks’ offensive woes can be attributed to their struggles with the man advantage and at the faceoff circle.

“It’s tough to get a clean entry (versus Boston),” said Quenneville.

“It starts losing the draw initially. That’s the area we have to get better. Hopefully, you don’t have to resort to the entry.”

It also doesn’t help that captain Jonathan Toews has now gone 10 playoff games without a goal.

“I think right now whether it’s him or our power play, offensively I think we’re all a little gun shy in that area,” said Quenneville.

“One thing with Johnny, you can always measure how he’s going to be competing, because game in, game out he leaves it out there. Offensively maybe pressing in that area.”

Of course, it’s not like the Boston Bruins aren’t dealing with similar issues. They’ve won their last two games despite the fact that David Krejci, Nathan Horton, and Milan Lucic were all held off the scoresheet in both contests.

Those three forwards got the Bruins this far with their offensive contributions, but what’s separated the Blackhawks and Bruins recently has been their third lines. Tyler Seguin, Chris Kelly and Daniel Paille meshed well since being united in Game 2.

“They just seem to be working well together,” Bruins coach Claude Julien said. “A lot of credit goes to them. I’m just a little ticked off that I didn’t put them together sooner.”

All that being said, these two teams remain very evenly matched, especially if Marian Hossa is able to return from an upper-body injury.

Just as Rask was the hero in Game 3, Blackhawks goaltender Corey Crawford could be tonight. Or perhaps Toews or one of Chicago’s complimentary players will step up.

One thing is for sure though: The pressure if on Chicago to even the series tonight.

Latest Posts
  1. Datsyuk will play tonight in Montreal

    Oct 21, 2014, 12:31 PM EDT

    Pavel Datsyuk Getty Images

    Skating on a line with Henrik Zetterberg and Justin Abdelkader.

  2. Struggling Avs, Jets have winnable games tonight

    Oct 21, 2014, 11:49 AM EDT

    Patrick Roy AP

    The flip-side being…what if they lose?

  3. Stars stick with Seguin-Spezza-Benn line vs. Canucks

    Oct 21, 2014, 11:44 AM EDT

    Tyler Seguin, Jason Spezza, Ales Hemsky, Jamie Benn Tyler Seguin, Jason Spezza, Ales Hemsky, Jamie Benn

    “It’s something I really want to see,” said head coach Lindy Ruff.

  4. Tavares: I’ve ‘never seen anyone’ change gears like McDavid

    Oct 21, 2014, 11:00 AM EDT

    Connor McDavid Getty Images

    The top 2015 draft prospect has impressed the Islanders’ superstar.

  5. Penguins send ’12 first-rounder Pouliot to minors

    Oct 21, 2014, 9:45 AM EDT

    Derrick Pouliot Getty Images

    He had been recovering from shoulder surgery.

  6. Ducks’ Heatley, Allen take step towards return

    Oct 21, 2014, 9:11 AM EDT

    Dany Heatley Getty Images

    Both players have missed the start of the season.

  7. NHL on NBCSN: Flyers take on ‘Hawks in Chicago

    Oct 21, 2014, 8:33 AM EDT

    Corey Crawford AP

    And they’ll face Antti Raanta in goal.

  8. Video: Oilers win…? Oilers win!

    Oct 21, 2014, 12:20 AM EDT

    HKN Lightning Oilers 20141020 AP

    It finally happened and it happened with a late goal.

  9. Video: Callahan (lower-body injury) leaves game against Oilers (Updated)

    Oct 20, 2014, 11:57 PM EDT

    Ryan Callahan Getty Images

    Caught Taylor Hall with a heavy hit earlier in the game.

  10. Don Cherry: ‘Something’s gotta go’ in Edmonton

    Oct 20, 2014, 11:07 PM EDT

    Don Cherry Getty Images

    Talking about the Oilers perhaps trading one of their young players.

  11. Video: Callahan crunches Hall

    Oct 20, 2014, 10:39 PM EDT

    Ryan Callahan Getty Images

    Heavy hit along the boards.

  12. Canucks coach Desjardins on return to Dallas: ‘It means I want to win more’

    Oct 20, 2014, 10:04 PM EDT

    WillieDesjardins AP

    That’s about as much trash talk as you’re going to get from Willie D.

  13. Report: Drouin to make NHL debut against Oilers after all (Updated: It’s official)

    Oct 20, 2014, 9:21 PM EDT

    Jonathan Drouin AP

    Alex Killorn is – again, this is based on same report – out of the lineup.

  14. Leafs’ Biggs, mired in ECHL, ‘really felt the onus’ of being 1st-rounder

    Oct 20, 2014, 8:33 PM EDT

    Tyler Biggs Getty Images

    “He’s got to go and maybe play out of the spotlight that we have here in Toronto.”

Featured video

Why are we talking about fighting... again?

Sign up for Fantasy hockey

Top 10 NHL Player Searches
  1. P. Datsyuk (3502)
  2. J. Drouin (2834)
  3. J. Spezza (2688)
  4. M. Gaborik (2645)
  5. E. Kane (2589)
  1. E. Staal (2547)
  2. S. Varlamov (2541)
  3. J. Skinner (2235)
  4. P. Dupuis (2070)
  5. V. Hedman (2063)